We’ve talked a lot about the energy benefits of LEED and Energy Star regulation and certification, but what exactly do they mean? What does it take to be Energy Star certified and how do you know if you qualify as a LEED building?
According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), “LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.”
The best route to ensure you are complying by LEED regulation is to verify that any contractors, engineers, builders and any other expert that is guiding you in your energy efficiency efforts is LEED certified. At EES, we engage only the most qualified and experienced, including LEED accredited professionals.
According to EnergyStar.gov, an ENERGY STAR certified facility meets strict energy performance standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and uses less energy, is less expensive to operate, and causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its peers.
So, now that we know what each means, what is the difference and which one matters the most to you?
In a nutshell, both measure energy efficiency, but reward certifications from two different aspects. ENERGY STAR focuses on improving energy performance in buildings as a method of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. LEED is a building certification process that looks at various aspects of green building and awards recognition to structures that meet certain standards. Each is spearheaded by different energy-focused organizations: the EPA and the USGBC, respectively.
In our opinion, each only strengthens the other, so if you are going to invest in meeting LEED standards, it can only help to implement Energy Star rated equipment and abide by their practices as well.
Did we help clarify any confusion you had about LEED or Energy Star? If not, what questions do you have – we’d be more than happy to help try to answer them.